Sunday, May 11, 2008

War and Decision

One would think one of the most hated neocons at the Pentagon, a man whose name has almost become a bona fide cuss word in some circles, would get front page attention from the major newspapers by putting out a book. Apparently not.

A Saturday night search around 9:30pm CDT revealed the following. From the Washington Post:

From the New York Times:

(The one result was actually a short op-ed written by Feith, not a Times story about the book).

And from Google:

Ironically the first hit on Google led to the WaPo, whose own site doesn't show any hits. But the link is only to a letter to the editor complaining about erroneous information in their pre-publication article about the book, which has not been followed up upon publication. As of 3:45pm CDT Sunday, little had changed.

And that's interesting, because Feith's main charge seems to be that the media distorted the administration's role leading up to Iraq and helped to create a false narrative by repeating those accusations over and over, ie, the Bush lied meme. He's trying to dispel that notion with a book chocked full of declassified documents, yet few have noticed.

Certainly his position allowed a pretty good view of events so if he's being brutally honest in this book we've been given the most insightful inside glimpse yet. But so far the reaction seems more in line with this TPM rendering of his 60 Minutes piece or rants from bomb-throwers, while the positive coverage has come from predictable places. Feith brings some of this on himself--he's the ultimate nerdish policy wonk--but that shouldn't disqualify his information.

I'm in the process of slogging through this 500 page behemoth and plan to issue at least one more post on it for my own amusement should anything jump out, not that it will matter of course. To most Iraq was an unnecessary debacle and is a finished file, a case closed, with Barack Obama being the leader of that pack. It's up to the reader to determine whether they believe the mainstream press is intentionally ignoring Feith's book because it might disrupt that profile and affect a leading candidate, or not.

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